Surprise winner named Fort Wayne’s Favorite athlete

Graphic by Dan Vance

Karissa McLaughlin and Ryan Potts may not be the most acclaimed local athletes, but they sure have a lot of good friends who stick up for them.

With 48 percent of the vote, McLaughlin pulled away from Potts with 32 percent to win a News-Sentinel.com poll of Fort Wayne’s Favorite Athletes. The poll was the culmination of a summer series at News-Sentinel.com which asked fans to pick their favorite athletes in seven sports and then concluded with an overall poll.

During her career at Homestead, McLaughlin never lost on her home court while helping take the Spartans to two state finals appearances in 2015 and 2017 and a semistate trip in 2016. The 2017 Homestead graduate finished as the area’s second all-time leading scorer with 2,586 career points. As a senior, she averaged 25.9 points and 5.6 assists while shooting 46.1 percent from three-point range and leading the Spartans to the Class 4A state title, scoring 29 points in the championship game. She also was named Indiana Miss Basketball. During her freshman season at Purdue, McLaughlin was named to the Big Ten’s all-freshman squad after averaging 10.4 points and 3.5 assists, starting 30 of 34 games.

The grandson of Komets great Reggie Primeau, Potts was a versatile forward who played five games for the Komets during the middle of the 2008-09 season, scoring two assists. He played college hockey at Northland College in Wisconsin, an NCAA Division III school where as a senior in 2005-06 he scored nine goals and had 15 points in 26 games.

Pro Football Hall of Fame member Rod Woodson finished third in the voting with 10 percent of the votes, followed in order by volleyball player Lloy Ball, soccer player DeMarcus Beasley, baseball player Kevin Kiermaier, basketball player Walter Jordan, auto racer Moose Myers and pro golfers Bill Kratzert and his sister Cathy Kratzert Gerring.

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